Executive Director of Development

Denver, USA, Colorado
May 12, 2017
University of
Faculty Jobs
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The University of Denver is building an advancement enterprise that mirrors the excellence of our great institution. Advancement efforts at DU have a tremendous impact through our relationships with DU's remarkable students, dedicated donors, inspiring alumni, engaged families, and wonderful friends. DU is committed to building and fostering a culture of deep engagement and philanthropy in support of our institution as we implement the DU IMPACT 2025 vision. As a part of that effort, we are continuing to grow a team of collaborative, curious, results-oriented, and mission-driven advancement professionals who value inclusivity and who possess a deep respect for one another and for our shared profession.

Position Summary

We are seeking four experienced, driven, and passionate fundraising leaders to join our Advancement team as Executive Directors of Development serving the remarkable programs detailed in this advertisement. This is a unique opportunity for talented fundraising professionals to join a dynamic, growing and purposeful enterprise united around a compelling mission charted by Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. The Executive Directors will work with a community of talented professionals united to advance this mission and inspire philanthropy and engagement.

Reporting directly to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development (currently vacant), this critical position plays a key role in developing and enhancing relationships with major and principal gift prospects, discovering their philanthropic passions, and aligning them with the funding priorities emerging from our remarkable academic centers and the DU IMPACT 2025 strategic plan. The Executive Director will develop and mature his/her portfolio of major gift donors in pursuit of individual fundraising goals set annually in collaboration with the Assistant Vice Chancellor and the Dean/Executive Director. The Executive Director will also collaborate with Advancement leadership, colleagues, and university administrators to establish short- and long-term strategies and monitor progress toward goals. The Advancement team is highly collaborative in its work and builds extensive value-added relationships with its campus partners.

Essential Functions


  • The Executive Director will develop meaningful and productive relationships with a portfolio of major, principal and planned gift donors including alumni, friends, and parents.
  • This position is responsible for engaging philanthropic support for priorities within his/her assigned school/college/unit.
  • S/he will work primarily with major, principal, and planned gift donors assigned to his/her portfolio.
  • Collaborate with other development professionals across campus to effectively design and execute gift strategies.


  • In partnership with the Dean/Executive Director and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Development, establish fundraising priorities based on the school/college/units strategic vision.
  • Help educate colleagues and peers across campus on those priorities.
  • As a leader in DU Advancement, provide strategy, guidance, and direction in support of the mission, vision, values, and goals of the University of Denver.
  • Engage in the advancement goal-setting process for fundraising and engagement metrics.
  • Effectively and responsibly steward budgetary and other resources.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to close major gifts ($50,000+) and principal gifts ($1 million+) in a relationship-based culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to form and fully leverage cross-functional teams of colleagues, volunteers, and academic/administrative leaders toward closure of transformational gifts.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills. Ability to represent the University of Denver, and its major initiatives and units, in a variety of capacities.
  • Proven ability to work with a high level of independence, maintain confidentiality, prioritize assignments, and manage time effectively.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills to foster and maintain effective relationships with colleagues, donors, volunteers, and University Officials.
  • Ability to interact effectively with diverse groups having competing interests and priorities within the University and community.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 7-10 years of paid fundraising experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to secure major gifts ($50,000+) and principal gifts of $1 million+ by strategically managing a portfolio and fostering meaningful relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide fundraising strategy and support to academic/organizational leaders.
  • Valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Graduate degree.
  • Higher education fundraising experience.
  • Experience working in and/or leading a college-based development environment.
  • Experience managing fundraising professionals.

Candidates must apply online through www.du.edu/jobs to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

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